Getting around downtown is about to become easier and faster when a new free shuttle service launches next month.
The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority’s circulator bus called “The Flyer” will be a fast and no-cost way for the public to travel between Brown Street and some major destinations and job centers in the heart of the city.
The Flyer is expected to be heavily used by University of Dayton students and downtown workers, visitors and residents who will be able to get to their destinations quickly without having to worry about finding parking nearby.
The Greater Dayton RTA’s circulator shuttles, which officially launch on Nov. 9, will run in a continuous loop, arriving at stops every 10 minutes or less.
“People will be able to get from downtown Dayton to Brown Street to enjoy lunch and get back without having to worry about parking — finding a spot, paying for parking and, if there’s no parking, where do they go,” said Jessica Olson, communications manager for Greater Dayton RTA.
Free circulators like the Flyer help redevelop urban spaces into walkable mixed-use, high-density environments, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
The Flyer shuttles will have 23 seats and will run 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays. There will be no service on Sundays and holidays.
Shuttles will head north on Brown and Warren streets up to Jefferson Street and Patterson Boulevard.
The buses will drive west on Fifth Street, then head north up Main Street and then take a right on East First Street, before looping back around using Monument Avenue. Shuttle stops will be on both sides of the street.
CareSource and Premier Health, two giant employers downtown, are sponsors of the Flyer. Their employees will use the shuttles so they can park blocks away from work.
Greater Dayton RTA is covering about 70 percent of the costs of operating the Flyer shuttles.
CareSource is building a new, six-story office tower at North St. Clair and East First Street.
About 200 cities worldwide have some form of fare-free transit, according to the nonprofit Next City, and free circulators and street cars in other cities have been credited with assisting with economic development.